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The Italian makes it into the 24-rider front echelon in the crosswinds and survives the gradual selection before beating Lindeman and Eising in a 10-rider sprint

BERT JAN LINDEMAN

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SIMONE PONZI

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VINI ZABU KTM

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16.03.2014 @ 18:40 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Simone Ponzi took his second win since joining YellowFluo prior to the season when he emerged as the strongest in the Dwars door Drenthe on a windy day in the Netherlands. The Italian stayed aware when crosswinds split the peloton, made it into the 24-rider front echelon, and survived the final splits before beating Bert-Jan Lindeman (Rabobank) and Tijmen Eising (Metec) in the final sprint.

 

Luca Scinto's YellowFluo team have had a reputation of reviving the careers of riders who have stalled, and this year it seems that they have done it again. Having already won the GP Costa degli Etruschi in his first race for his new team, Simone Ponzi added the Dwars door Drenthe to his palmares by producing a strong showing in the Dutch one-day race.

 

Ponzi who had joined the team from Astana, stayed aware when the race split in the crosswinds on the Dutch plains. Finally, he made use of his fast finish to take the win in the second of the two Dutch races over the weekend.

 

The 202.7km race started in Roden and finished in Hoogeveen. With around 90km to go, the riders would do three laps of a 7km circuit that featured the short, steep Vamberg climb and there were a few cobbles when they headed back to Hoogeveen. However, the race ended with 3 laps of a flat 10km finishing circuit and the race was widely tipped to end in a bunch sprint if the wind could not wreak havoc to the peloton.

 

This was exactly what happened as the field broke to pieces in the tough conditions. 24 riders escaped, with Lotto Belisol being the dominant team as they had four rides in the move.

 

For the second day in a row, pre-race favourites Belkin had not stayed aware and only Barry Markus was in the group for the big home team

 

Ponzi had the support of his teammate Andrea Fedi and the duo proved their strength when the group split in two late in the race. 10 riders broke clear and while Lotto Belisol could only put Stig Broeckx and Vegard Breen into the group, both YellowFluo riders were there.

 

Confident in his sprint, Ponzi and Fedi worked to make the group stay away and they managed to keep the second group at bay as they held a 36-second gap at the finish. In the end, Ponzi proved his excellent turn of speed when he beat Bert-Jan Lindeman - who took his second consecutive podium result - and Tijmens Ejsing in the final dash to the line.

 

With the race, the series of one-day races in Drenthe have come to an end but racing in the Benelux countries resumes on Wednesday when it is time for the small Belgian semi-classic Nokere Koerse.

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